Before you get started reading this, note that I actually encourage you to vote third party. For me, Libertarian Michael Badnarik is the superior conservative choice; his policy stances in every case encourage small government and better individual liberties. Green David Cobb is a great liberal choice, as he stands for a guaranteed living wage for all and a increased focus on alternative energy. Both are in favor of a rapid development of a plan to get us out of Iraq. Please, consider voting for a candidate with a message that, in your heart, you can live with, rather than a candidate who is merely a "spite" vote because you dislike another candidate.
Since taking the Oath of Office on January 20, 2001, George W. Bush has presided over one of the most controversial and divisive administrations in the history of the United States as a result of his strong neoconservative philosophy, particularly in the wake of 9/11.
Bush's presidency has been filled with mistakes; if you wish to read about some of these, http://www.thousandreasons.org/ should fill your desires. It's also been filled with actions that have angered libertarians (USA PATRIOT Act, for starters), liberals (war with Iraq, for starters), environmentalists (Clean Air Act, for starters), and educators (No Child Left Behind, for starters).
Given the politically divided air of the United States at this time, you would think that the Democratic Party would have great opportunity to select a unifying, charismatic nominee with a clearly distinct message from George W. Bush, a real firebrand to state why we shouldn't be in Iraq and why we shouldn't be doing silly things like wiretapping without cause or putting ridiculous constraints on schooling. And they did, during the primary season: Howard Dean was the early frontrunner and met all of these criteria. Yet the Democratic candidates instead spent all their effort knocking the legs out from under Dean, and by the time the Iowa caucus was over, the party wound up with a new frontrunner who managed to push his momentum all the way to the convention. What does John Kerry stand for? As far as I can tell, he stands for one thing: not being George W. Bush.
So, the American electorate is left with two mainstream choices: Bush or Not Bush. Before you jump on the case of how great John Kerry is, note that the parallel to this writeup, Top 10 Reasons to Elect John Kerry, starts off NOT with an explanation of how great John Kerry is, but a great string of anti-Bush sentiment, thus proving my point.
So, without further ado, let's look at
10 Reasons to Re-Elect George W. Bush
1. George W. Bush has been directly responsible for bringing hundreds of known terrorists to justice, directly making the world a safer place.
Take a quick look at just a few of the hundreds of terrorists that have been brought to justice since 9/11:
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, al Qaeda's operational commander and mastermind of 9/11
Riduan Isamuddin, head of Jemaah Islamiyah and perpetrator of August 2002 bombings in Bali
Abu Zubaydah, al Qaeda tactician
Tawfiq Attash Khallad and Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, planners of the 2000 USS Cole bombings
Abu Eisa al Hindi, al Qaeda tactician
Because of the strong anti-terrorist response to 9/11, these people have been taken into custody and are no longer able to conduct terrorist acts against free people. Their capture directly makes our world safer. Also note that none of these captures required a direct military conflict; diplomacy and engagement of international police made these captures possible.
2. George W. Bush increased the annual contribution limit on education IRAs from $500 to $2,000 per child, ensuring educational futures for many.
For middle class families with children, this is a god-send. $500 per year over the eighteen year life of a child only added up to $9,000, which isn't enough to send a child even through a state school. With George W. Bush raising the tax exemption to $2,000 per year, I can now save $36,000 without taxation per child towards college, which will be enough to ensure that my child has enough resources to attend a state school without much worry for money, and attend a great private school for at least a year, and perhaps more if supplemented by scholarships. This simple act has directly opened doors for my children.
3. George W. Bush has now authorized faith-based charities to receive federal funds, meaning that many more charities are now eligible for support.
Several years ago, I spent some time in a soup kitchen run by a Catholic church. It functioned entirely like any other soup kitchen, except they had a prayer before the meal and they provided bibles and spiritual counseling to those who wanted it. The sister running the establishment told me that all of their money comes from donations of members of the church parish, and that the government would not give them a dime in matching funds to enable them to serve more nutritional foods or to offer additional support to the destitute people who used the kitchen for meals. Now, thanks to George W. Bush's policy, this soup kitchen now can actually afford to directly employ some of the homeless as janitors and maintenance men, provide more nutritional food, and provide not only spiritual counseling but employment assistance to those in the kitchen. This is a good thing.
4. George W. Bush has provided $13 billion in grants to First Responder units (FY '02 to FY '04), helping to ensure public safety.
First Responder units are one of those things in life that we don't immediately think about when it comes to government services, but they provide a huge impact on our lives when we need them. First Responders are those people who are the first to arrive on the scene; they bring with them fundamental fire prevention and emergency health gear to help stabilize a situation until paramedics or firefighters arrive. Quite often, First Responders are the difference between life and death; twice in my life, they have been. President Bush authorized $13 billion in grants directly to local First Responder units in towns and cities across the United States; in my town, the First Responder unit received grant money to train six people in how to correctly administer CPR and how to deal with smoke inhalation, as well as purchasing a new First Responder vehicle with a large water tank to aid in quick firefighting until the firefighters arrive. This will save lives if it hasn't already, and it's happening in towns across the United States.
5. George W. Bush made $33 million available for abstinence education programs in 2004, helping the youth of America make better informed and safer decisions.
Abstinence is a safe and healthy lifestyle choice that eliminates the chance of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Many sex education programs in schools in the United States are taught based on materials that they are provided with from the Department of Health and Human Services, many of which do not discuss abstinence as a lifestyle choice. The Bush administration is correcting this, and has delivered the money necessary to make abstinence education a part of sex education in the United States.
6. George W. Bush brokered a peaceful resolution to a twenty year diplomatic crisis with Libya.
Many people like to point at George W. Bush's aggressive stance in many situations and state unequivocally that he is a war monger and an empire builder, yet they neglect to mention the easing of tensions with Libya, a longtime opponent of the United States. If you recall recent history, the United States bombed Libya in 1986 in retaliation for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub, and the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 was a direct result of Libya's terrorist activities. As a result of Bush administration diplomacy, Libya renounced any possession of weapons of mass destruction, disavowed terrorist connections, and opened their borders to international inspections. As a result, Libya is becoming a part of the international community of nations once again, and American citizens are now allowed to fly into Tripoli. This is a huge diplomatic success.
7. George W. Bush led a strong diplomatic effort in the Sudan, ending a twenty year civil war in the nation that resulted in two million deaths.
Again, due to effective diplomacy, George W. Bush was able to make the world a safer place. The United States directly brought diplomatic pressure to bear against the Sudan, in which genocide had occurred in the Darfur region. The north and the south signed a cease fire on April 8, 2004, which not only ended direct fighting, but allowed humanitarian relief to be sent to the Darfur region, where as many as a million civilians were exterminated in death camps. Because of Bush's diplomatic efforts, the people of the Sudan can now begin to rebuild their nation after twenty years of terrible war.
8. George W. Bush sponsored a $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, providing the largest single financial support against the spread of HIV and AIDS in history.
AIDS has killed more than 20 million people worldwide, and at least 40 million more are infected with the virus that causes AIDS. Bush's AIDS plan triples the original spending that the United States had invested in fighting the war against AIDS and HIV around the world. Most of this money will be sent straight to the most dense locations in terms of cases of HIV: the Caribbean and Africa, and the money will be used to directly support the 10 million plus AIDS orphans, provide treatments to 2 million people infected with AIDS, and provide education and counseling in heavily-infected areas which could prevent as many as 10 million additional infections. Bush's policy is directly using the money and resources of the United States to save lives.
9. George W. Bush was responsible for revising the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 rent subsidies to disabled people, permitting them to use up to a year's worth of vouchers to finance down payments on homes.
This is beneficial in countless ways. First of all, it allows people with disabilities to have the opportunity to own their own home, which is a huge life step for all of us; for many with disabilities, the impact of home ownership on their lives is amazing. Second, it frees up taxpayer dollars and assets to help support disabled people who are eligible for the program but are still on waiting lists; when handicapped people are able to move on from their state-sponsored housing, space becomes available for other handicapped people to have the opportunity to live on their own, without relying on relatives. This act directly benefits the lives of countless handicapped people.
10. George W. Bush has put himself in harm's way repeatedly in an effort to inspire the nation in a post-9/11 world.
This seems simple, but it has huge psychological impact. On October 30, 2001, less than two months after 9/11, George W. Bush attended a World Series game. Prior to the start of the game, Bush stood out on the open field, within target range of literally tens of thousands of people, and proudly threw a pitch, demonstrating to an American public that we had no reason to be afraid. When the war in Iraq was looking bleak in late 2003, with insurgent fighting all around the troops, Bush visited the 82nd Airborne on Thanksgiving Day and sat down to dine with them, demonstrating that he also has the courage to be there. In both cases, I would not have wanted to be in the situation, but he was willing to put himself there to encourage the American people and a bunch of frightened troops. These actions seem so simple, but think back to FDR's fireside chats, which served the same purpose in a very frightened United States during the Great Depression. Such things have nothing to do with partisan politics, they have to do with what a leader is supposed to do, and Bush has demonstrated that he will do it.
To conclude, don't let either the liberal or conservative rhetoric that floats through political discourse today make you believe one way or another. Both John Kerry and George W. Bush have positives and negatives about them; it is up to you as a concerned individual to properly inform yourself about all candidates and not merely vote based on someone else's rhetoric.
The moral of this story is: be informed, or be lost.